The Harvard Business Review just published an article entitled For LGBT Workers, Being “Out” Brings Advantages that includes some data that we find very interesting.
For example, according to their findings:
7 million: Estimated number of LGBT employees in the U.S. private sector
29: Number of states in which workers can be fired for being gay
59%: Share of Fortune 500 companies that offer domestic partner benefits
85% of Fortune 500 companies have protective policies that address sexual orientation—up from 51% in 2000
52% of straight men think LGBT workers should “keep their lifestyle choices to themselves”
48% of LGBT respondents report remaining “closeted” at work
42% of closeted employees said they felt isolated at work, versus only 24% of openly LGBT employees
52% of all closeted employees, but just 36% of out employees, believe their careers have stalled
70% of closeted middle managers reporting that they feel stalled, versus 51% of openly LGBT middle managers
73%: How much likelier closeted LGBTs who feel isolated at work are than “out” workers to leave their job within three years
These numbers continue to show us how being out at work effects work performance and satisfaction. And, that is why at Out & Equal, we are committed to offering training, educational resources and consulting services to senior management, HR professionals, employee resource groups and employees to promote Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) workplace equality. It’s simple: when employees feel empowered, comfortable, and free to be themselves, they perform better, and stay longer, at their jobs.
And, like the article points out, employees are not the only ones to benefit: Employers who are known for progressive attitudes toward this demographic have a better chance of winning its loyalty and its business.